Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More than Half Way to the End

I have finished my daily sweater!!!! I completed it on Saturday night. I know you are all thrilled to bits! I wore it to work on Tuesday and it was very comfortable and stylish (IMHO). Several people said it was nice. Of course, most of them were fellow knitters, but I will take it as a compliment since this is my 1st adult sweater.
I have completed 3572.6 yards of knitting, which leaves just 1,895.47 yards to finish this summer in order to complete my 5K. I think I can do it. We will have to see.

I have cast on for a Christmas stocking for The Baby; it is the Giant Jester Stocking from “Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit”. The Girl picked out some colors and off I went. I thought there was a mistake because my stocking did not look like the one in the book, so I ripped out several rows. I then went to Ravelry to see what I did wrong and I could not find any errors etc., so I did what I should have done in the first place and read all the way through the instructions. I figured out what the problem was, i.e. that I had not read all the instructions and the picot edge is added at the end. So I ripped out a bunch of rows for no good reason. Let this be a lesson to you… always read all the directions before you start.

Sew What
I picked up my sewing machine on Saturday.

I set it up on Monday and did some practice sewing.

It seems to work. I know this sample is not very exciting, but it has been a LONG time since I used a sewing machine so you will have to take what I can give.

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie … Who’s Not Ready Holler I
I also picked up peaches on Saturday.

The Hub and I canned them last night (Tuesday). We only did 6 quarts and this is how they turned out.

See how all the peaches are all floating at the top. They all look like they are trying to make their escape. The Hub called the local extension office and they said that we overfilled the jars so the peaches rushed to the top to avoid drowning. Okay, they did not say that last part. But, all is not lost, we can reprocess them. I will see how I feel tonight and maybe we will do it tonight. The Girl complained bitterly about how hot the kitchen was last night. I told her it is nothing compared to how hot it gets when I do jam. Mostly, because you have to stand over the hot jam pot and stir for the entire time the jam cooks.
Next, I am going to try canning cherries. In reality, the reason I wanted to can anything in the first place is because I want canned cherries. My grandmother would can cherries every year. One of my fondest memories is eating canned cherries out of the little plastic yellow bowls at her house.

Movie Review
On Monday, The Hub and I went to see “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. It was okay. There is nothing technically wrong with it. It moved at a good pace, it had lovely hand knits and it told the story. However, it felt like a Reader’s Digest condensed version of the book. It has been a long time since I read the book, so I could not tell you what was missing, but the movie felt, well, soulless. I can not say it was a bad movie; just that it was not magical. I am going to give it 2 ½ knitting needles. It is worth seeing, but you might leave wishing for more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What is wrong with me?

This weekend I bought a sewing machine. Why? I don’t really know. It occurred to me that I needed one. I do not actually have it yet as it was on backorder. It should be in today or tomorrow. I think I am having a mid-life crisis and it is coming out in the form of hand crafts. I am going to make some burp cloths since The Girl gets mad when I use the dish towels. She is worried about germs. However, I don’t think The Boyfriend actually washes his hands and I would be more concerned about that.
Anyway, I bought a Viking Emerald 116. It is a basic model in the mid-grade range. Of course, I went on line to look up info regarding what to buy and everyone was like “Oh, you shouldn’t get a machine that is under $1000”. Seriously… $1000 min… that is not a typo. I can not afford $1000 machine; that is madness. I know that I will not use it that much; I will not be making quilts, just a few things for the baby. So I spent $300 which I really should not have spent. I do not know what is wrong with me.

I ripped out the cuff I had finished on my Daily Sweater. I reworked it using the same amount of stitches as the end of the sleeve and used a smaller needle. I like it a lot better. It goes in slightly, but is not tight. I can squish it up my forearm if I need to, which I like.
I am part way done with the second sleeve. If I do one set of rows (from decrease to decrease), I should have the sweater done next weekend. Wouldn’t that be exciting?
Other weekend events…
So The Girl and The Boyfriend have been house-sitting for the people who live across the street from The Boyfriend’s mom. The Girl has been coming home for school during the week and going over there for the weekend. The Baby has been staying with The Boyfriend. Anyway, we took The Girl over there on Thursday (she does not have school on Friday) and hung out a while so we could spend a little time with The Baby. The Hub and I had planned on having a nice quiet weekend, just the two of us. On Friday evening, I was at home and The Hub had gone to the grocery store to get supper, when the phone rang. It was The Girl and she was hysterical. She was sobbing and carrying on. Apparently the two dogs they were taking care of at the house had knocked The Baby’s food off of the counter and had eaten it all. And she said she was not even getting paid for this (The Boyfriend agreed to house-sit for free) and she and The Baby were coming home. So we had no quiet weekend after all.
I took The Baby to lunch yesterday with some gals I used to work with and of course she was perfect. She is a great baby and she does like to go out and about. She does like to stay up late, but so does her mom. I think the late nights are finally taking their toll on The Girl though. Ah, sweet revenge!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Was A Dark And Stormy Day

Okay, it is not storming yet, but it sure looks like it is going to, even though it is not supposed to rain. It has been unseasonable cool the last couple of days. This is fine by me, except they still have the air cranked on high at my work, so I am freezing.

I AM still employed. The layoff occurred yesterday (Thursday). We lost one person from purchasing and a total of 50 were let go company wide. However, no engineers we let go. Apparently, they are going to be told in September if they are going to get the axe. I am extremely glad that I still have a job.

I did not get much knitting done this week because I have been sort of stressed out and tired (I have went to bed at like 8 pm almost every night) so I do not even have any good knitting news. I did finish my mom’s rug on Saturday night and I knit her a dishcloth with the few remaining bits of yarn. She was very appreciative. I did not take a picture of either completed object. However, it did take 1600 yds of yarn, so I am a lot closer to my goal, 1964.6 yds down and only 3,503.47 yds to go!

On Monday, we went down to my aunt’s house with my mom and my 2nd eldest niece. I was showing off my knitting pictures to my niece and she was actually impressed. My cousin asked how I learned to knit and I told her via a DVD and she too was impressed. It is always nice when I can impress people without even trying.

Just like that place where they take your spine
And turn it into soapflakes
-“Poor Napoleon” - Elvis Costello
I have always wondered where this place is. I know that is crazy, but I like this song and the way he sings it sounds like you SHOULD know where this place is. You know, that PLACE, where they turn spines into soapflakes. Maybe it is an English expression. I don’t know. If you know where this place is, just leave a note in the comment field.

Okay, maybe I do not have a lot to blog about today. I just wanted everyone to know that I am okay.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Ro-Man is not like the Hu-man

This is quote from the cinematic classic “Robot Monster”. It is one of my all time favorite movies quotes because, well, who hasn’t felt like that the Ro-Man is not like the Hu-man. It is referring to the Robot Monster’s kind, not fellows from Rome. I find it fascinating the even aliens use the term robot since it comes from the Russian work rabota, it means to work as in “я работаю на магазине (ya rabota na magazineh)”, “I work in a store”. There, now you can say something in Russian! All you to do is get a job at a store in Moscow (Moskva) and you are set!

Have you ever seen Robot Monster? If not the whole thing, you probably have seen clips from it. It is the one where the guy is wearing what appears to be a gorilla suit body and a deep sea diver helmet. I think a clip of it is used in a Cars video, but I can not remember which one.

Anyway, I saw a list of 14 Movies you should see before you die by Will Ferrell and I thought well if he can do it, so can I! This list is not in any particular order and truthfully would probably change if I did it again. I have seen a lot of movie and sometimes I like things more than other times. I am not going to describe them since you can just go look them on IMDB and well, I do not think they are so out there you haven’t at least heard of most of them.

14 Movies to see before you die
1. The Godfather – This is one of the best movies ever made. It is just so lovely to watch the little details. Of course, Godfather II is just a good, so you should watch that one too.
2. Goodfellas – This is like the flip side of The Godfather, just as well made, but a less romantic look at mobsters. Ray Liotta is perfect.
3. 2000 Maniacs –by Herschell Gordon Lewis, the Godfather of Gore. He made several gory movies and they are considered the precursor to the slasher film. This movie is over the top and made on the cheap, although it does star a Playboy Playmate! Be warned, there is blood. You could watch Blood Feast instead, but I think this movie is better.
4. Drunken Master II – the Hong Kong version, not the one that was released in theaters in the USA. I think this Jackie Chan’s best movie. Plus, I love his pregnant step-mom kicking butt!
5. Raising Arizona – I love the Coen Brothers and I think this is their most accessible film. If you like this one, then go see “O Brother, Where Art Thou” which is awesome and has the best soundtrack ever.
6. Halloween – The original John Carpenter version – this is one of the best horror films ever made.
7. Strangers on a Train – Okay, you should see as much Hitchcock as physically possible, but I happen to really like this one. You could watch it with “Throw Mama from the Train”.
8. Blade Runner – the directors cut, of course. The only real down side to this movie is the cheesy soundtrack by Vangelis, but that is the price you have to pay to see one of the best science fiction movies ever made.
9. Double Indemnity – This is my very favorite Film Noir movie. I love Edward G. Robinson in it.
10. My Man Godfrey – This is a classic screwball comedy.
11. Midnight Cowboy – This is one of the best buddy movies ever made and it is probably my favorite Dustin Hoffman film. There are parts of it that are very dated, but the story is fabulous.
12. Bride of the Monster – by Ed Wood Jr. – This should be watched for Bela Lugosi’s big speech if nothing else. Ed Wood if often considered the worst director ever, but he always was trying to make a good movie, he was just bad at his job so I consider him better than some. You could try watching Plan 9 From Outer Space, but not everyone can make it through.
13. The Killer – by John Woo. Watch it in Chinese with subtitles, this is the only way to watch any Hong Kong movie. This movie is very violent.
14. Singing in the Rain – This is my favorite musical. If you can see it on the big screen, I would recommend seeing it that way since it is a Technicolor wonder.

There you have it. Go out and rent some movies.

But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.

- Money by Pink Floyd
So there is going to be a layoff at work. Rumor has it that they are going to lay off 200 people. It looks like it is going to happen on Tuesday. This is very concerning to me because well, I have a lot of mouths to feed here. Plus, I really do not want to be out looking for another job. I don’t find it scary, just depressing. I hate looking for a job and truthfully, I just want to work for a few more years and then move to a farm. All I can do is hope for the best.

Knitting News….
I finished the baby booties. The pattern is dead simple, but it leaves a big hole right below the eyelet row. This bothered me a lot, but I could not figure out to fix it. I had just enough yarn to finish them so that is another 64.6 yards down. Anyway, here is a picture of the completed pair.

I did not work on the rug for the last two days so today I need to work really hard on it today and tomorrow. We have no big plans for the weekend, so I should have time.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I hope you are enjoying you holiday if you are here in the USA. Of course, it is Saturday so if you are not in the USA, you can still enjoy the day.
I really do not have big plans for today. I really usually just want to stay home and relax on the 4th, so that is what I plan on doing today.

I wanted to write a quick post because I have knitting news and pictures.
I started my mom’s rug on Monday. I have gotten quite far… see.

I figured out yesterday that if I knit 11 rows a day (approx) I can have the rug done by the time my mom leaves. Now you might be saying to yourself, 11 rows, that is nothing, but I find it very painful to work on the big needles with 4 strands of cotton. I knit some in the morning and when it got to be too much, I started a new project. Yesterday, I think I did 10 rows, I am not sure, because I lost track when I was watching TV last night.

At work, I belong to a knitting group. We meet every other week during lunch and chat and knit. Anyway, at this week’s meeting, we decided that we would all make something for the annual company sponsored silent auction for the United Way. One gal was just finishing up a baby hat in blue and another had a “boy” baby blanket already made. The other gal piped up that she would do a dishcloth and get some soap. I was trying to decide what I was going to do when I was “volunteered” to do booties. So this week I have been trying to find the appropriate pattern and yarn. I finally decided on the Wave of Babies Booties by Yvonne Kao using some Mission Falls 1824 Cotton I had picked up at the thrift store ages ago. It is not a hard pattern and I do not have to turn a heel, so it makes me happy. I was able to finish one bootie yesterday.

I think it is pretty cute. I need to make i-cord for the eyelet holes, but I wanted to make sure I have enough yarn leftover before I started making it. I do not have full skein of the 1824. I am confident I have enough for the booties themselves. I can use a contrasting yarn if I have to for the i-cord.

That’s it for today.